Body & Fitness

Eliza McCartney on her rise to stardom and living in the public eye

The athlete opens up about how she stays motivated and why pole vaulting isn’t as scary as it looks.
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We sat down with Kiwi pole vaulting star Eliza McCartney to discuss how she is adapting after her quick rise to fame. Read our Q&A to find out more.

Was it weird coming back to New Zealand and suddenly being in the public eye after Rio?

It was very different to what I was used to! I was just thrown into it and I hadn’t had much practise dealing with it before. I had some really amazing people around me and I also got great advice from other athletes and other people who had been in the same situation. You eventually get used to it and it becomes easier. It was just very sudden for me!

How do you get started on days when you’re lacking motivation?

When it’s a heavy training phase I’m a bit more sore and tired in the morning. Sometimes I really don’t want to get up!

That’s where it’s really important to have your big goal or your big dream that you’re working towards.

Once you’ve got that, it’s easier each day to think, ‘ok, I need to do this amount of training, and I need to get these smaller goals done’, and that’s really helps to keep the motivation going.

When you’ve got something big you’re aiming for and you break it down to daily steps, you know that you just need to get up and do it, even if you’re not feeling like it!

I’ve got it all in my head and I certainly know what I want to do – I’ve always been an organised and driven person. That makes it easier day to day.

Favourite comfort food?

Chocolate, any chocolate!

Best holiday you’ve ever had?

After Rio, my boyfriend and I went to this little town near Fortaleza, right up the top of Brazil. It was so nice to be able to relax and have a week of sitting on a beach. It was beautiful.

Favourite childhood memory?

I used to love climbing trees; I’d do it all the time and so many of my memories involve that. I was always a bit of an adventurous child; my parents got used to it!

The next book on your reading list?

I have just finished Hamish Bond and Eric Murray’s book. I’m thinking Valerie Adams’ book would be a good one to follow that up with!

What’s your favourite piece of workout gear?

My Nike Free Flyknit shoes. They’re really light and they’re designed in a way that lets all the little muscles in your feet keep working, so you’re getting stronger at the same time.

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